I’m not a scrupulous follower of the R’n'B scene in general, of the Bad Boy Records roster in particular. But, man, that Carl Thomas really made me raise an eyebrow or two, I can’t front. First it was the hook to ‘The World Is Filled’ on Biggie’s second album. Then, the smooth vocalising on Puffy’s ‘Been Around The World’ remix with Mase. His first hit, ‘I Wish’ (2000), got us all singing off-key “And I wish I never met her at all!..”, ask Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige. And his unexplainably overlooked contribution to Capone n Noreaga’s ‘The Reunion’ album intro, a superb rendition of Sam Cooke’s classic ‘Change Is Gonna Come’, was absolutely perfect. Matter fact, he even featured on my personal favourite R’n'B record of the naughties, the almost faultless ‘Touch’ album, by Amerie.
(I’m breaking down all these songs precisely because if, god forbid, you were not familiar with them by now, I’d strongly advise that you run to your iTunes store or Limewire RIGHT NOW.)
I don’t understand what made Carl fall suddenly off the radar around 2003. His second album (as well as his third, apparently) went almost completely unnoticed. Seems that the tragic loss of his brother affected him so bad that he didn’t want to do any promotion anymore. Consequently, Bad Boy dropped him off and he hasn’t been seen much around ever since. I feel truly blue for Mr Thomas as I think he is one of the most gifted male vocalist in the genre today and his career story could be used as an itchy sticky note for the rest of us, word to Black Rob.
Carl, hope to hear some new music from you soon,
PS: Picture by D-Nice from the Boogie Down Productions, check where his head’s at HERE